Thursday, June 27, 2013

Charles Spurgeon on Compromise

“Only ye shall not go very far away.”  - Exodus 8:28
This is a crafty word from the lip of the arch-tyrant Pharaoh. If the poor bondaged Israelites must needs go out of Egypt, then he bargains with them that it shall not be very far away; not too far for them to escape the terror of his arms, and the observation of his spies. After the same fashion, the world loves not the non-conformity of nonconformity, or the dissidence of dissent; it would have us be more charitable and not carry matters with too severe a hand. Death to the world, and burial with Christ, are experiences which carnal minds treat with ridicule, and hence the ordinance which sets them forth is almost universally neglected, and even condemned. Worldly wisdom recommends the path of compromise, and talks of “moderation.” According to this carnal policy, purity is admitted to be very desirable, but we are warned against being too precise; truth is of course to be followed, but error is not to be severely denounced. “Yes,” says the world, “be spiritually minded by all means, but do not deny yourself a little gay society, an occasional ball, and a Christmas visit to a theatre. What’s the good of crying down a thing when it is so fashionable, and everybody does it?” Multitudes of professors yield to this cunning advice, to their own eternal ruin. If we would follow the Lord wholly, we must go right away into the wilderness of separation, and leave the Egypt of the carnal world behind us. We must leave its maxims, its pleasures, and its religion too, and go far away to the place where the Lord calls his sanctified ones. When the town is on fire, our house cannot be too far from the flames. When the plague is abroad, a man cannot be too far from its haunts. The further from a viper the better, and the further from worldly conformity the better. To all true believers let the trumpet-call be sounded, “Come ye out from among them, be ye separate.”
- Charles Spurgeon's Morning Meditation, June 27th
~Brittany

Photo Shoot with Bell :-)

Did a photo shoot with Bell today to get her year picture.
 She's very photogenic. :-)
 I think we decided on this one for her year pic.
 She's our little ray of sunshine!  Always got a smile on her face.
 Had to get a full body shot.  I really like this one.
 In the tree.  (That was her idea. :-) )
She was reading before I grabbed her.  She's a little book worm.  Thought it was only appropriate to capture this aspect of her. :-)
~Brittany

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Thoughts on Modesty and Beauty ~ from TimeWarpWife and Club31Women

 A good article on modesty.  Though this is coming from the angle of girls not realizing what they're doing, I think a lot of girls are probably fully aware of the consequences of their actions.  We must seek to show genuine love to our brothers in Christ by aiding them in their pursuit of purity.
Posted: 25 Jun 2013 11:11 PM PDT

Guest contributor Lisa Jacobson from Club31Women

Avert your eyes, Son.

His dad started saying it to him from the youngest age - when he was only a little boy. Might have been an alluring commercial while watching the ballgame. Or a billboard while driving down the highway. A pop-up on the computer screen.

As parents, we had purposed to teach him purity from the beginning.

And you wouldn't think that would be too tough to do where we live. We're out in the country, somewhere on the outskirts of a small western town. But that hardly matters anymore.

Temptation can be found anywhere.

Even in Target.

Target? Yeah, I know. That's what I thought too. Until one day we popped in to pick up some flip-flops for the summer and I remarked how he kept bumping into things.

What is your problem, Son??

"I'm just looking down, Mom," And with a nod, he indicated the ads placed strategically above us. Billboards for the lingerie department. Yikes. I'd not seen them.

But then again...I'm not a vulnerable young man either.

Sorry, Son.

I'm sorry the Enemy tries to pull you down everywhere you turn. I feel badly we live in a world that's so ready to compromise a man's commitment to clean living. It's never been easy - only it's far worse now.

Is there nowhere a young man can safely go?

Maybe a Christian family camp. You'd think.

It was a hot July day and we all packed up and headed out for fun and fellowship with a bunch of other believers. Picnic blankets, cold watermelon, and squirt guns. It was promising to be a great day.

So I was surprised to see our oldest son hanging back from the festivities. He's an outgoing guy and usually one of the first out there mixing it up. Except not this time. He stayed close to our small spot and played with his little brothers instead.

What is your problem, Son??

He hesitated for a moment. Then answered, "Mom, I don't know what to do. Dad's taught me to 'avert my eyes', but there doesn't seem anywhere I can turn here."

I glanced around and then saw what he meant.

Most of the ladies there were dressed for a hot summer day. Many with bare skin exposed. Lots of bareness. Yikes, again. Who would have thought he'd have to wrestle with it here?

I noticed a pretty girl nearby and wondered if she realized how difficult she was making it for a guy. Surely, she would have made another choice if she had. She might have thrown a light blouse on over her tank top. Slipped on a longer, breezy skirt. Picked out some walking shorts or a shirt with a higher neckline. She might have covered herself up.

If she only understood how hard he's trying to do the right thing. She might have dressed differently. For his sake. For the sake of all the men out there who want to walk in purity.

If she only knew that the way she dressed up meant a good man needed to look down. He had to turn away from her beauty. That he was missing out on her loveliness because she was showing him more than he was meant to see.

Because we can teach our sons to avert their eyes. To lower their gaze. But what can we do as Christian women? We can't leave our guys stuck in a place where there's nowhere left to turn.

Let's choose modesty - modesty that allows a woman's true beauty to shine through.

In like matter also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation (I Tim. 2:9a).

In His grace,

Encouraging Verses

As I read my Bible in the mornings, sometimes I will take passages from several different chapters and put them all together to make one continuous thought.  Yesterday morning as I was reading is Isaiah, that's what happened. :-)  I hope that this may be a blessing and encouragement to some of you, as it was to me.
“I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight:  I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: and I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.  But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.  I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain:  I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.  Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength.  And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.  Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.  As for our redeemer, the Lord of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel.  Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.  Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.  And thou shalt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.  And all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.  Is my hand shortened at all, that it cannot redeem? or have I no power to deliver?  For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.  Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light?  Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.”  - taken from Isaiah 45-50
~Brittany

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

Poem, I Will Wait for You

I thought this poem was so neat!  A challenge and encouragement to be the women God wants us to be.  If we will seek Him, He will provide in His perfect timing.
~Brittany

Simplicity of Farm Life as a Child

They just don't make toys like this!

Glories of Farm Life

I have yet to meet a man or boy that does not love farming.  My guys are no different!  Tayte just bought this new baler this year so I thought I would catch some footage to capture this special season of his life.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Guest Post by Hallie Brush on the Joy of doing Dishes :-)

A dear friend of ours posted this article on her blog and I was so blessed by it that I asked permission to share it with our readers as well.  I hope you will be as encouraged as I was.  Thank you Hallie for allowing me to share it.  Also, Andrew Howard then shared the song by Scotty McCreery.  What an encouraging combo!  Thanks for both of you for the encouragement you both have been to our family and hopefully to our readers.  

Dishes and Joy

 Yes, dishes.  Of all the things I could blog about, dishes is the chosen topic this time around.  Stick around and you'll see why. :)


 The other as I was talking/chatting with a friend dishes came up in conversation.

 Now, doing dishes doesn't seem to be a favorite task with most.  I've never really given it much thought.  Personally I like doing dishes. I could (and do) do dishes all day.  Granted, it would be very nice to get other things done too... but doing dishes is still something that I enjoy most of the time.

 But, in this conversation I was being my typical nutty self, and went all goofy about getting to stay home and do dishes instead of having to to go fishing.  And the thing he said in response really struck me, and I've been thinking, I mean really thinking about it ever since. 


"Ha. Never seen anyone so happy to do dishes. ;-)" That got me to thinking. Why? Why don't we get excited about doing dishes? 


There are a score of reasons for not liking to do dishes.... They take longer than anyone has time for. Dishes is a never ending job, you have to do it multiple times a day, everyday for life. There are so many other, important things to do, there's just not time to do dishes. 


Dishes. Something we all use daily, has become a drudgery. 


Why? 


As children of the King, aren't we to be rejoicing? Aren't we to be cheerful workers? God gave us the ability to work, and He gave us the work to do; why do we allow it to annoy us? Why do we make it a drudgery? 


 There is so much good to doing dishes. 


I'm sure we could all write up a nearly endless list of reasons why dishes are a pain to do... but how many of us could write up a list of equal size about why dishes are enjoyable? 


To me (anymore, as it didn't used to be this way) doing dishes is a joy. You know what it means to have a sink full of dirty dishes?! You know what a blessing dirty dishes are?! Dirty dishes are such a blessing! I want never to be out of dishes to do. 


Now, before you all get to thinking that I have completely lost any sanity I might have had left... 


Here's how dirty dishes are a blessing...


1) Dirty dishes means that God is making provision for you. 

2) Dirty dishes means that God has blessed you with people to serve. 

3) Dirty dishes means you have companions. The more dishes there are the more people you have around (usually)

4) Dirty dishes means you have time to spend in prayer and thanksgiving. 

5) Dirty dishes means you aren't idle.

6) Dirty dishes means you have opportunity to practice cheerfulness and serving. 

7) Dirty dishes means you have opportunity to practice housekeeping skills. 

8) Dirty dishes (usually) means you've brought pleasure to someone. 


 Need I go on? Or do you get my point? 


Have you ever thought about just how important dishes are?  

I know most of us (my readers and I) want to be reformers. Have you thought of the importance of dishes in the reformation effort? Why, if someone doesn't do the dishes, then there aren't clean ones to use the next time around, which eventually results in starving people, and therefore no reformers... guess doing dishes is a pretty important task, huh? 


Okay, so maybe that is a little exaggerated... but not so much when you think about it... 


If having clean dishes is that important, and dishes don't do themselves... I guess that would make the person that washes them fairly important too, would it not? 


You see, my point here is that we have to choose to enjoy our work. Every little task is important in the work we are doing. No job is too small. Each plays a special part in the reformation effort, and who are we to shun any one of them? 


I find if I'm getting tired of doing dishes, I start thinking about how miserable life would be if I had no family to do dishes for. If you choose to look for the good in something, it is far more enjoyable. Then, as children of the King, we go around rejoicing as His children should. 


You see, I get very down seeing others around me going on mission trips, getting married, starting churches, going to college, working a million and one jobs... and what do I do? 


I stay home... and do... dishes. 


But! Someone has to do dishes! Someone has to do the "small" "unimportant" jobs... and really, they aren't "unimportant". They are just as needed as anything else. 


So, while other serve their Lord going on mission trips, or ministering at work, or going to college, or whatever. I will serve my Lord at the sink. I will stand at my post, and joyfully serve Christ, through serving others in doing dishes. 


'Tis glorious to be "chief cook and bottle washer", and by God's grace I will do it to the best of my ability, and praise Him all the while. :D 



Joyfully serving the Father,

Hallie



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Meekness and Joy in the Lord



“The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord.”  - Isaiah 29:19a

I was struck by this verse during my Bible reading this morning, and found myself doing a bit of word study work and commentary reading on meekness.  I found John Gill's comments very good and insightful, so I thought I would share my findings here with all of you. :-)


"The "meek", lowly, and humble, are such who are made sensible of sin, and become humble under a sense of it; who see the insufficiency of their own righteousness, and submit to the righteousness of Christ; who attribute all they have, and are, to the free grace of God, and quietly submit to every dispensation of Providence; who are not easily provoked by men, but bear much and long without reviling; who envy not those that are above them in gifts and grace, nor despise those that are below them, and think the worst of themselves, and the best of others; now these have joy in the Lord, in the Word of the Lord, as the Targum, in the Lord Jesus Christ; in the greatness and glory of his person as Jehovah, and so able to save to the uttermost; in him as the Lord their righteousness; in his blood and sacrifice, for the pardon and expiation of their sins; in his fulness as theirs, to supply their wants; in his salvation, being so great, so full, so free, and suitable to them: and whereas their joy may be interrupted through the corruptions of their hearts, the temptations of Satan, and divine desertions, they "shall add" joy in the Lord, as in the original; they shall repeat it, it shall come again, it shall be restored unto them, and they shall afresh exercise it, and "increase" in it, as we render it; for spiritual joy may be increased by the discoveries of the love of God; by fresh views of Christ, through an increase of knowledge of him, and faith in him; by means of meditation and prayer, and by reading and hearing the word."
-John Gill's Commentary on Isaiah 29:19a 

The last part of his comments really stood out to me.  It is in looking to Christ, through communion with Him, that we come to see ourselves as less and Him as the amazing God He is, thus drawing our hearts more closely to Him in love, giving us joy and making us satisfied in Him, thus detouring us from seeking joy in sin and the pleasures of this life.
  ~Brittany

Confessions of a Yelling Mom (now reformed)

What an encouragement and challenge this post by Lisa Jacobson from Club31Women blog was to me! Very convicting, but also encouraging.  I hope you will be blessed by reading it.
Confessions of a Yelling Mom 

Nobody would have pegged me for a yeller.

Actually, I wouldn’t have guessed it either. Maybe my memory is faulty, but I don’t remember ever having shouted before – except maybe at a college football game or catching a friend’s attention across the parking lot.

Other than that, I’d say I’m a fairly soft-spoken person.

But something seemed to have happened once I had small children. Yeah, it’s like something snapped!

I became a yeller.

A yeller? Me??

At first I blamed it on all kinds of things. Hormones. Stress. Sleep-deprivation. But after a while, I had to face up to the facts. No matter what the cause, I’d turned into a yelling mom.

And I hated it and wanted to change.

I cried out to God to miraculously overcome this awful struggle, secretly hoping for some kind of instantaneous healing. But it turned out to be more of a journey – by His grace, in His strength, and with a lot of determined effort on my part.

One of the first steps of my journey was to start an anger journal. I wrote down each time I lost my cool. I recorded the time of the day, the setting, the person, and the circumstance – much like you would in a food journal. Then I looked for patterns. When did I most often lose it? Under what conditions?

I tried to identify the specific situations I could do something about. For instance, I often unraveled in the late morning and much of it was due to being HUNGRY. A mid-morning snack went a long way toward that trouble. Also, I found that taking a short nap after lunch helped me better handle our afternoons. Setting up a basic routine with our young ones reduced the general chaos which made it a bit easier on my nerves too.

Now those were some problems I could address. But what about those things that I couldn’t control or anticipate? Spilled cereal bowls. Poopy diapers. Arguing children. Seemingly incessant demands on my time and body all day long. Yes, what about those?

Next step….

Unknowingly, I’d always orchestrated my life around what I wanted out of the day. As a single woman, I’d set out goals for myself and then I accomplished them. But my life changed dramatically when I had children. It was no longer all about me and what I thought a day should look like.
So a change was needed – a change in my perspective. It wasn’t merely about what I wanted anymore. My goals. My purposes. My life.

My question needed to be, “Lord, what do You have for us today?”

What if He wanted me to learn “serving” by cleaning up one spill after another that morning? Then I could view the disaster as more of “an opportunity” than a “trial”.

What if our children ruined our trip to the library because of all their bickering? Hmm…looks like The Lord wants us to learn more about loving each other than about reptiles and kangaroos.

When I began looking at our day in this light, that “snappish” feeling wasn’t nearly so strong. And, even if it was one of those terribly trying times, I could ask, “Please, Lord, help me to see what You want for us here?”

While this was a slow, and sometimes painful, process, I eventually got better. Quieter and calmer. Peaceful.

And if you happen to be on just such a journey? Here’s what I’d say:
  • Don’t listen to the Enemy that you can’t change. Because you can.
  • Don’t be overly hard on yourself if you mess up. Simply start anew the next day. Or  even the very next moment. (On occasion, I’d stop mid-yell…then say aloud, “Nope. I want to try that again.”)
  • Don’t attempt to overcome this in your own strength. Rather in Christ (Phil. 4:13).
  • Do ask for support and prayer from people who love you. While rather humbling, I’m thankful for a couple of close friends and a husband who stood with me on this one.
So, yes, by God’s grace I’m no longer a yeller.

Well, unless my kids do something really wonderful, that is. Then you’ll hear me shouting as loudly as the next mom.

Yelling and cheering.

And I’ll be cheering for you too.

In His Grace,
Lisa Jacobson

~Posted By Breanna

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Plucking the Sin Out by the Roots

We were very blessed and challenged by this message by James Jennings tonight.

Parenting In Weakness~ A post especially for mammas with little ones! :)

A friend shared this post from GraceLaced blog on facebook.  It was such a blessing to me to read, and I thought of several mom's that we know that I thought would be encouraged by reading this as well.  Thus this post is dedicated especially to you precious mammas with small kiddos!  
May the Lord bless and strengthen you!
Parenting In Weakness | gracelaced.com 

God makes two year olds absolutely adorable because it’s right around that age that you can feel like you’ve had it with this parenting gig. You look in the mirror to find that the sweet gentle mama that rocked her baby to sleep has disappeared, and a fire-breathing adult child with anger issues in her place. At the very least, it can feel that way.

Between the tantrums, the defiance, the messes, and the emotional manipulation, sometimes a mother is left feeling like she’s dealing with a giant foe rather than the pipsqueak that is her child. Rather than feeling in control and decades older than her little person, she finds herself tempted to succumb to foolishness; tantrums, defiance, and manipulation–adults can play that game too.

And mamas– mamas who have forever aspired to the calling of motherhood and mamas who have been thrust into it reluctantly alike– all find themselves inadequate for the task. Sure, we may have read parenting books, watched others parent before us, babysat for countless hours, and listened to advice from many many other moms, but nothing blunts the overwhelming fact that our weakness as moms plus their foolishness as children, equal the potential for great despair.

And we mamas begin to wonder if we are simply not right for the job…that God missed the part about us being impatient, angry, selfish, and unwise in our records?  How does he expect me to not ruin my kids if he knows I’m so messed up? 

We might even make a plan to speak and act nicely, starting tomorrow.
We may confidently proclaim, “I will NEVER do that, like my mom did.”
We might promise to do our very best.


But playing nice and making promises leave us disappointed and despairing when we come up short, and incapable of even doing what we set out to do just the night before. That ugly tone of voice still spills out. That condescending look takes over our face even when we try to hide it. Our best is simply not good enough. 

Our best was never meant to be good enough.

Motherhood is not some cruel joke through which God seeks to highlight your failures, and leave you feeling helpless because of poor upbringing, unhealthy examples, and lack of personal growth and self-control.

Motherhood is the loving vessel through which God seeks to highlight his sufficiency and ability, and grow your sense of his faithfulness because of his pure and sinless life, his provision on the cross, and his substitution of your dead end with his new beginning.

Jesus did not save us so that we could do motherhood on our own, apart from him; he saved us so that we would be forever connected to him, forever dependent on him– on the sustenance that flows through the cord of his unending love. Jesus was cut off from the Father that we might not be cut off from him.

Because we were not meant to do it apart from his enabling, we can set aside our deficiencies as mothers, as well as our pride…

If we parent consistently and show patience, it is God’s grace.

If our children obey, it is God’s grace– that it is his sanctifying work in us that enables and instructs us in faithfulness as mothers.

If our children defy us in disobedience, it is God’s grace– that we might have the opportunity to show the gospel to our children once again.

If we struggle to be the mamas we desire to be, it is God’s grace– that we would be reminded once again of the price paid on our behalf, the worthiness of Christ bestowed on us.

It is grace from start to finish.

And so, motherhood is not for the qualified; none of us are. Motherhood is for those he qualifies through Christ. He did indeed see your record, friend…and he erased it. He knows your weaknesses…and he transforms them.

And if, today, you are crying out in helplessness, he replies with open arms, “Now, child, you are ready for what I have for you. You are ready to become the mama I will make you to be.”

~Posted By Breanna

Monday, June 17, 2013

Marriage and Ketchup-- They're Both Worth The Wait!

I thought this post by Darlene Schacht from The Time-Warp Wife blog was fantastic and a great reminder!  I hope you are blessed by it as well!

In the 1970’s Heinz came out with series of commercials illustrating how slow their ketchup flowed from the bottle. Point being that their ketchup was thicker and richer than the other brands on the shelf. To reinforce their brand, “Anticipation, you’re making me wait” was their theme song, along with a tagline that read, “Taste that’s worth the wait!”

While watching an episode of the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, I learned from a young age how centrifugal force was my ally when it came to dressing my dog and fries. One long swoop of the bottle and it was putty in my hands. Well, more like ketchup on my plate, but you get the idea...

Kids nowadays don’t know how easy they have it with plastic squeeze bottles and condiment pumps, but while they have it easy, they’re missing out on simple lessons learned through patience.

Fast food, fast cars, fast money, and fast access to pain relief have left us weak and void of muscle tone when it comes to flexing the muscle of patience. We must exercise patience daily in order to increase in strength.

Dictionary.com defines patience this way, “Bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.” That includes nagging of course.

Can you see how this would be an asset to any marriage? In a perfect marriage we’d see two people living in harmony without complaint. There’d be no sign of irritation or annoyance, and tempers would be under control at all times.

But we don't live in a perfect world, do we? We live in a world of anticipation that's making us wait. We live in a messy world where the abundance of an angry heart spouts forth more times than we'd like. We say and do things that pierce each other deeply.

We’d all love it if our husbands had the patience of Job, and if we could experience instant and perpetual bliss (yeah, I'm feeling a little 'Faith Hill" today). That would be easy, but instead of seeking a shortcut in hopes that my husbands will change, I challenge myself to focus inward and exercise that patience myself.

When I take my eyes off of Michael's failures and turn them toward God, where I learn perfect patience, I allow Him to work through me. And why wouldn't I? God can do so much more than I ever could on my own. His wisdom is so far beyond mine that I'm constantly surprised by His wondrous ways.

It's just a matter of teaching myself to relax, pray, and wait on the Lord. In other words I give up my wants and my desires to be shaped by His will.

We might not understand the momentum once we step onto the Potter's wheel, but centrifugal force is our ally when we're clay in His hands.

It takes time to build a relationship as we practice being both patient and waiting on God, but some things--like marriage and ketchup--are well worth the wait.

The first lesson to be learned and practiced is loving patience. It requires some time to bring any two lives into perfect unison so that they shall blend in every chord and tone. - J.R. Miller

You are loved by an almighty God,
Darlene Schacht




~Posted By Breanna

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Evening Meditation by Spurgeon

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”  - Psalm 27:1

“The Lord is my light and my salvation.” Here is personal interest, “my light,” “my salvation;” the soul is assured of it, and therefore declares it boldly. Into the soul at the new birth divine light is poured as the precursor of salvation; where there is not enough light to reveal our own darkness and to make us long for the Lord Jesus, there is no evidence of salvation. After conversion our God is our joy, comfort, guide, teacher, and in every sense our light: he is light within, light around, light reflected from us, and light to be revealed to us. Note, it is not said merely that the Lord gives light, but that he is light; nor that he gives salvation, but that he is salvation; he, then, who by faith has laid hold upon God, has all covenant blessings in his possession. This being made sure as a fact, the argument drawn from it is put in the form of a question, “Whom shall I fear?” A question which is its own answer. The powers of darkness are not to be feared, for the Lord, our light, destroys them; and the damnation of hell is not to be dreaded by us, for the Lord is our salvation. This is a very different challenge from that of boastful Goliath, for it rests, not upon the conceited vigour of an arm of flesh, but upon the real power of the omnipotent I AM. “The Lord is the strength of my life.” Here is a third glowing epithet, to show that the writer’s hope was fastened with a threefold cord which could not be broken. We may well accumulate terms of praise where the Lord lavishes deeds of grace. Our life derives all its strength from God; and if he deigns to make us strong, we cannot be weakened by all the machinations of the adversary. “Of whom shall I be afraid?” The bold question looks into the future as well as the present. “If God be for us,” who can be against us, either now or in time to come?
--Charles Spurgeon's Evening Meditation, June 16th--

~Brittany

Time, Entertainment, and Purpose

"A man has no time for which he is not accountable to God. If his very diversions are not governed by reason and religion he will one day suffer for the time he has spent in them." -Thomas Watson

“Entertainment is the devil's substitute for joy. ” - Leonard Ravenhill

“God’s purpose for my life was that I have a passion for God’s glory and that I have a passion for my joy in that glory, and that these two are one passion.”  - Jonathan Edwards
~Brittany

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Poem ~ Sometime

This was posted on Google+ by a friend who gave me permission to share it.  I thought it was really good!  Very convicting!
Sometime
“I’ll do that sometime —just not now”, I tell myself. Sometime comes…sometimes goes…“Aren’t you supposed to be doing something?” My conscience whispers to me. I try to brush him off, but he’s right nonetheless. I did say I’d do it…sometime. I ‘helplessly’ tell him, “I can’t do it now. I’m busy. I’ll do it sometime… Quiet, but firm was his response, “I know, that’s what you said last time”, was his reply. “That’s not a concern of yours, but it’s mine!” I yell at him.  “Okay”,  He whispered. “just remember who you belong to—Jesus.” My heart sank when he said that. He went further, “When people look at you they see a reflection of   Jesus. What reflection do you want them to see: a selfish, self-centered, prideful person?” I knew he was right. Sometime comes…sometime goes…and only sometimes does something happen when I say, “I’ll do that…sometime.” 
-Andrew  Howard
~Brittany

By Faith, Not Sight

Yes!  I so need to learn to do this more!  Oh, to have simple, childlike faith in my Lord!
~Brittany

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Power of Prayer~Story Behind the Photo



When I read this story I was so blessed!  Perhaps some of you have seen this photo before, as the post says that it's gone viral on the internet.  This couple took the time to share their story on their BLOG.  I hope you'll be blessed and challenged by their story, posted below!
I made this blog because a photo of my husband and I has gone viral on the internet. I wanted to share the story behind the photo for the hundreds of thousands of people who found inspiration through this sweet moment we had.
The Story Behind the Photo
Moments before I was to walk down the aisle my soon to be mother in law came in the dressing room where my bridesmaids and I were all gushing with giggles and fluttering about finishing last minute details.
“Sweetheart, your groom has called for you!”.
In a nervous tizzy I said, “What?! I’m not ready! I have to get my shoes and…” She had already taken my hand and led me to a corner, where my groom was waiting. I barely sat down; I was filled with so much anticipation! So much excitement! So many nerves!
“Is he going to like my dress? Does my hair look pretty? Can he see me?!”  
Right around the corner sat my soon to be husband, I so was nervous he might see me yet secretly hoping to catch a glimpse of him. In my excited state I was the first to speak,
“Hi sweetie! We’re getting married today!”
“I know baby and I want to pray with you before we do.”  
There we sat around the corner hand in hand, and together we bowed our heads. People were rushing about; the wedding coordinator directing people here and there, the photographers snapping photos and the bridal party enjoying each others company. Yet in that moment, in the quietness of our hearts and minds, my husband and I were alone in the presence of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
My husband prayed that God would bless our marriage, that through thick or thin together we would never lose hope in one another. That instead of focusing on each others imperfections we would always rely on Christ’s perfection. That we would wake up every day and chose to love one another not through our own strength but by the power of Christ’s perfect love.
With our hands clenched tightly to one another together we said “Amen”, both with shaky voice and just like that I was whisked away to blot the tears off my face and put on my veil.
After my bridesmaids, mother, mother-in-law and every other girl in the room had finished zipping, curling, tucking and blushing me up I looked in the mirror. There I stood wearing my pure white wedding dress, ready to walk down the aisle to my Prince Charming.
See, he is not only my Prince Charming because of his incredibly handsome looks, or wonderful humor, or the fact that we have so much in common. He is my Prince Charming because he helped me protect the most precious gift that I owned, my purity.
Soon after we had started dating I nervously told my Prince that I was a virgin and planned to be until the night of my wedding; to which he replied he would have it no other way.
Throughout our dating relationship and engagement we constantly fought, what at times felt like a losing battle. We fought temptation with prayer, scripture and accountability. I had friends checking up on me if they knew we were together late at night and he regularly met with other Godly men to pray for strength. At times, especially as the wedding grew closer, we thought we were attempting to do the impossible.
“Why are we doing this?” I would ask in my weakness, and he would remind me, that it’s because God had told us too.
“I can’t do it, I can’t… this is too hard!” he would confess to me and I would pray for his strength.
When I walked down the aisle in my white dress, I looked straight into the eyes of the man that had laid himself down to protect and honor the wife that God had given him.
When his eyes first caught mine he looked into the face of the woman that had waited for him, the woman that would support him and love him for the rest of His life, through good times and bad.
I share all of this because in that prayer we prayed, which was captured here on camera we asked the Lord to use our wedding to bring Him all of the glory that He rightfully deserved. We had not gotten where we were by our own strength, but by His hand of protection on our relationship.
God has used this photo to inspire hundreds of thousands of people already and for that we are humbled and honored! I wanted to take it a step further and give God praise and thanks for how we arrived at that quiet corner, holding hands and ready to begin our lives together.  
(photo by the incredible Kim Burke, www.kdburkephotography.com)


 I made this blog because a photo of my husband and I has gone viral on the internet. I wanted to share the story behind the photo for the hundreds of thousands of people who found inspiration through this sweet moment we had.

The Story Behind the Photo

Moments before I was to walk down the aisle my soon to be mother in law came in the dressing room where my bridesmaids and I were all gushing with giggles and fluttering about finishing last minute details.

“Sweetheart, your groom has called for you!”.

In a nervous tizzy I said, “What?! I’m not ready! I have to get my shoes and…” She had already taken my hand and led me to a corner, where my groom was waiting. I barely sat down; I was filled with so much anticipation! So much excitement! So many nerves!

“Is he going to like my dress? Does my hair look pretty? Can he see me?!”  

Right around the corner sat my soon to be husband, I so was nervous he might see me yet secretly hoping to catch a glimpse of him. In my excited state I was the first to speak,

“Hi sweetie! We’re getting married today!”

“I know baby and I want to pray with you before we do.”  

There we sat around the corner hand in hand, and together we bowed our heads. People were rushing about; the wedding coordinator directing people here and there, the photographers snapping photos and the bridal party enjoying each others company. Yet in that moment, in the quietness of our hearts and minds, my husband and I were alone in the presence of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

My husband prayed that God would bless our marriage, that through thick or thin together we would never lose hope in one another. That instead of focusing on each others imperfections we would always rely on Christ’s perfection. That we would wake up every day and chose to love one another not through our own strength but by the power of Christ’s perfect love.

With our hands clenched tightly to one another together we said “Amen”, both with shaky voice and just like that I was whisked away to blot the tears off my face and put on my veil.

After my bridesmaids, mother, mother-in-law and every other girl in the room had finished zipping, curling, tucking and blushing me up I looked in the mirror. There I stood wearing my pure white wedding dress, ready to walk down the aisle to my Prince Charming.

See, he is not only my Prince Charming because of his incredibly handsome looks, or wonderful humor, or the fact that we have so much in common. He is my Prince Charming because he helped me protect the most precious gift that I owned, my purity.

Soon after we had started dating I nervously told my Prince that I was a virgin and planned to be until the night of my wedding; to which he replied he would have it no other way.

Throughout our dating relationship and engagement we constantly fought, what at times felt like a losing battle. We fought temptation with prayer, scripture and accountability. I had friends checking up on me if they knew we were together late at night and he regularly met with other Godly men to pray for strength. At times, especially as the wedding grew closer, we thought we were attempting to do the impossible.

“Why are we doing this?” I would ask in my weakness, and he would remind me, that it’s because God had told us too.

“I can’t do it, I can’t… this is too hard!” he would confess to me and I would pray for his strength.

When I walked down the aisle in my white dress, I looked straight into the eyes of the man that had laid himself down to protect and honor the wife that God had given him.

When his eyes first caught mine he looked into the face of the woman that had waited for him, the woman that would support him and love him for the rest of His life, through good times and bad.

I share all of this because in that prayer we prayed, which was captured here on camera we asked the Lord to use our wedding to bring Him all of the glory that He rightfully deserved. We had not gotten where we were by our own strength, but by His hand of protection on our relationship.

God has used this photo to inspire hundreds of thousands of people already and for that we are humbled and honored! I wanted to take it a step further and give God praise and thanks for how we arrived at that quiet corner, holding hands and ready to begin our lives together. 

~Posted by Breanna

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Vessels Shaped by God

When I found this quote this evening, I had to save it and share it.  May the Lord use each of our lives as vessels to honor Him!  Hope you each have a blessed Lord's Day tomorrow!
~Brittany

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Thoughts on the Hopes and Dreams of a Single Young Woman~Lisa Jacobson

I have been very blessed by Lisa Jacobson's blog, Club31Women, and was especially encouraged by this post!  I hope you precious single young ladies that read our blog will be as blessed and encouraged as I was! 

http://club31women.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Thoughts-on-the-Hopes-and-Dreams-of-Single-Young-Woman.jpg

Dear Mrs. Jacobson,
I follow your blog because I  ”share a passion for husband, home, and family”. With only one challenge – I don’t have a husband or a family (at least not yet?).
I’m 28, single and, in all honesty, get pretty discouraged at times. I’d really like to be married, but haven’t met the right guy. Sometimes I wonder if I ever will. What should I do while I’m waiting? Is there anyone out there for me? What do I do with my hopes and dreams?
From a Single, Young Sister

My dear sister,
So you are single. And no longer a girl, but a woman who has hopes and dreams of your own. You long to marry and have a family. But for now, that doesn’t seem to be what God has for you. Perhaps you’re 20 or 25, or maybe in your 30′s.

And you find yourself waiting…and wondering.

Where is that man of yours? (Does he even exist?)

What’s a woman supposed to do? Pine away? Pretend like you don’t care? Is there really any point in hoping?

I was 26 – and a dreamer – when I met my husband.  He was 31. We decided we wanted to get married three days after meeting (I’m going to tell that entire story sometime!) and our wedding took place a few months later.

But where had he been hiding all those years before? Where was he when I was crying alone in my room – desperately missing someone I’d never even met?

His answer: “You wouldn’t have liked me back then. I had a lot of growing to do.” (Hmm…Maybe I did too, come to think of it).

And that’s my basic story. I don’t know what yours will hold.

But here are a few thoughts….

It’s not wrong to want to be married. I sense this growing trend that today’s young woman should not admit she longs to be a wife and mother – that this is somehow less godly? Yes, we need to be content with whatever God has for us, but there’s nothing against wanting something very good and natural. How is it considered more “spiritual” to suppress those feelings? Rather than deny them, you can trust Him with your heart and lay it all at His feet.

God does not guarantee that you’ll get married. Yet, at the same time, we need to be careful we don’t “demand” marriage from God – just because we want it so very badly. Although I sincerely desired (and prayed for) healthy children, He allowed our fifth child to be born with life-threatening health issues. While it was not a situation I’d hoped for or anticipated, God gave what I needed to walk through that time and she’s a sweet blessing. You can be confident He’ll give the grace necessary for what He has in store for you as well.

You only have to be single today. If your heart’s desire is to be married, then the thought of being single “for the rest of my life” can be very discouraging. But as far as I can tell, God’s only asking you to be single on this day. You don’t know what tomorrow holds. So simply rest in what He has for you right now.

Try to be open-minded. I wouldn’t get too specific on what this guy will be like and how you’re going to meet him. Remember, God has far greater resources and abilities to bring about what He has for you. So let Him do the planning and keep your palms open and outstretched for whatever that might be.
Confession: I’d briefly met my husband eight months earlier, but announced to my friends, “If he was the last man on earth, I wouldn’t go out with him.”  I was later convicted by my declaration….gave him a chance…and you know how that ended up. :) 

Pray and let others pray for you. Personally, I’m extremely grateful for the mutual friends who prayed us together. I’m thankful for their determination to bring the matter before the Lord, as well as to introduce us. Why not let the people who know and love you join you in praying about this thing that is close to your heart?

Live your life fully each day. Make the most of the time you have. Seek to grow in godliness, in serving others, in knowledge and in skills. After I became a wife and mother, I could appreciate how the various ministries, experiences, and jobs I’d held previously had equipped me for what lay ahead. I could even see how “practicing contentment” helped me after our marriage – when I had small children, my husband traveled, or we were in a tough season. Far more was happening in my “single days” than I ever realized.
Well, I think I’ve touched on all of your questions, except one. Is there anyone out there for you?
Of course, I can’t say. Only God knows the plan He has for you. But I’m sure it’s a good and perfect plan.
And I know that He cares deeply about your hopes and dreams.

That He cares deeply about you. 

In His grace,


Tuesday, June 4, 2013


I so enjoy picture quotes. :-)
~Brittany

Neat Poem

This is a really neat poem that a friend shared.  Thought I'd share it here too. :-)

I worship Thee, most gracious God,
 And all Thy ways adore;
 And every day I live, I seem
 To love Thee more and more.
When obstacles and trials seem
 Like prison walls to be,
 I do the little I can do,
 And leave the rest to Thee.
I have no cares, O bless├Ęd Will,
 For all my cares are Thine;
 I live in triumph, Lord, for Thou
 Hast made Thy triumphs mine.
He always wins who sides with God;
 To him no chance is lost;
 God’s will is sweetest to him when
 It triumphs at his cost.
Ill that He blesses is our good,
 And unblest good is ill;
 And all is right that seems most wrong,
 If it be His sweet will.
                            -Fred­er­ick W. Fabe
~Brittany

Monday, June 3, 2013

Powerful Testimony of James Jennings

We have been so blessed by James Jennings and his ministry on I'll Be Honest for years now.  His honesty and openness is so precious and rare these days, and yet if we want true freedom we must be honest.  Honest with ourselves, honest with our parents or spouse and most importantly honest before God.   I hope you will be blessed and that God might continue to use Jame's testimony to help others come to know Christ as the only one that can save them from themselves and the sins that beset them.  We are more than conquers through Christ Jesus!  

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Few Excellent Quotes

"If we make our own reason or our own desires to be our rule, we cast off our dependence on the rule of God, and make ourselves to be in the stead of God unto ourselves." - John Owen

“Seeing that a Pilot steers the ship in which we sail, who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness." - John Calvin

"I find that I am most safe when I am most in need of God."
- Paul Washer

"The meek are those who quietly submit themselves to God, to His Word and to His rod, who follow His directions, and comply with His designs, and are gentle toward all men.". - Matthew Henry

~Brittany

God of This City

Last night Mom played a song for us that I had heard months earlier but had kind of forgotten about.  If you aren't familiar with the song "God of this City" by Chris Tomlin, it is an awesome song that is such an encouragement and very powerful!  But the story about the song is so neat!  It nearly sends chills down my spine.  We truly serve an awesome God who works in awesome ways!  I hope you will listen to both the song and the story and that you will be exceedingly blessed!  :-)



~Posted by Breanna

Saturday, June 1, 2013

~Brittany

Prayer

"Little of the Word with little prayer is death to the spiritual life. Much of the Word with little prayer gives a sickly life. Much prayer with little of the Word gives more life, but without steadfastness. A full measure of the Word and prayer each day gives a healthy and powerful life."
- Andrew Murray

"Our prayers may be weak, stammering, and poor in our eyes. But if they come from a right heart, God understands them. Such prayers are His delight." ~ J.C. Ryle

~Brittany